Within the gemstone mine, the party is confronted with a choice of five different shafts to explore. After deciphering the shorthand marks on the map retrieved from the miners’ lodge, the party decides to investigate a shaft still marked as active without any cave-in indicators. Searching around, the party discovers a faint blood trail heading down the shaft as well making them believe they are on the right track. Margarigon finds several lanterns taking a few and collecting as much oil as he can, while Tort takes a pickaxe from the ground thinking it may be useful.
Margarigon hangs a couple of lamps from his horns so the party can see ahead of them, and as they proceed they put torches in the wall sconces to mark their route back. Descending into the shaft is uneventful until they come to giant nearly perfectly round looking hole in the shaft floor. It’s clear the pit is not of the same make as the shaft with its nearly smooth edges.
Tort slams the pickaxe into the rock wall of the shaft safely lodging it there and tying his length of rope to it. Dhohlos agrees to descend to scout out the pit and Message back up if there is any danger to Margarigon, who holds the rope waiting to pull up his companion. Dhohlos reports back there are several other caverns breaking off at the bottom of the pit and there’s a persistent dust in the air, but no sign of danger. The party decided to descend.
At the pit bottom, they notice the dust in the air seems to be getting thicker. Maio is able to discern the sound of of scratching and bashing of stone against stone down one of the shafts as well as the faint sound of cursing. Looking down the narrow passage, the dust obscures investigation. As the party discusses which passage to go down, Tortuga asks Margarigon for some of the oil. He pours it over his longsword, sets it aflame, takes a deep breath, and proceeds down the dust-filled passage towards the sounds Maio described.
Annoyed by Tort’s snap decision, the rest of the party follow. The flames on Tort’s sword are very soon doused by the thick dust, which has gotten so thick the other party members are having a hard time breathing. Taking in too much of the dust, Maio and Zora feel themselves poisoned by the air prompting Dhohlos to cast Gust pushing the dust away as they proceed. They hear the bashing and grumbling grow louder and soon see a faint glowing light through the thick air. Getting to the end of the passage, it opens up into a chamber, and Tort calls out in Common assuming the voice may be a lost miner. It is not.
A tall humanoid looking figure stops pounding the far wall of the chamber turning towards the party. It wears dark brown and slate colored clothes, goggles, and a mask hiding its identity. The figure wears some kind of gloves which seem to have allowed it to carve out the passage. Upon the wall, it seems to be also attempting to inscribe a series of sigils. However, before the party can engage the figure, immediately before them arises a large scorpion-like creature seemingly made of shimmering gemstones. Behind it coming out of the walls are four smaller versions of the creature. The party rolls initiative engaging in battle with the figure and the crysmals.
Poisoned by the constant dust in the air (at disadvantage), Maio and Zora try their best to cast at the figure and the crysmals but have a difficult time hitting the targets. Tort focuses his effort on the large crysmal managing to hit it repeatedly but discovering their non-magical longsword isn’t as effective as it would have thought. Margarigon gets passed the engaged pair going after the figure. Striking out at it repeated, Mar discovers the figure has some particular skills. The figure takes a swing at the minotaur, its gloved fist shoots out tethered from its arm wrapping around Margarigon and grappling him. The fight between the two soon becomes a struggle of will. As Maio, Zora, and Tort attack the crysmals, Dhohlos aids Margarigon managing to deal a good about of thunder damage to all foes around.
The tide of the battle turns in favor of the party as the crysmals are dispatched. Margarigon breaks the tie holding him moving in on the figure while Tort comes up to confront it as well. The two warriors combine to severely weaken the figure as Dhohlos swoops in, placing his hand on the figure’s chest, and casting Shocking Grasp. The lightning courses through the figure dropping it dead to the chamber floor.
With the crysmals turned to dust (one of which leaving a pile of sapphire dust similar to the ruby dust Tort discovered in the lodge), Maio looks around for more gems finding a substantially sized diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire from the remains of the large crystalline scorpion. Searching the body of the figure, the party discover its name to be Mortimer thanks to a stake of notes apparently taken for some Bard College courses. There is a stone tablet as well written in Teran. Dhohlos and Tort are able to translate the tablet as each speak a dialect of Primordial (Aquan) and can just make out the text. It commands Mortimer to finish making a portal in four days or suffer the consequences. Looking at the sigils Morty had been scratching into the wall, it becomes clear he was attempting to make the portal here to the Elemental Plane of Earth.
Further searching of Mortimer lead to the discovery of a Bag of Holding, a couple of healing potions, a smattering of gold coin, a stone tuning fork that appears magical in some way, a pouch of dark grey dust similar to what’s in the air, and the poncho Mortimer wore appears enchanted in some way. Tort pulls off Mortimer’s goggles and puts them on as a trophy. The party take the other items. Feeling they have proof enough to complete the job, the party turn to leave.
Suddenly, a booming voice fills the chamber. While it speaks in Teran sounding harsh to the untrained ear, Dhohlos and Tort are able to make out what it’s saying in a strangely pitch voiced and translate for the group. It commands them to leave all its ‘shinies.’ Looking up, the party see a large maw in the ceiling of the chamber and bulbous eyes starting down at them.
Rashly, Tortuga takes the pouch of ruby dust from his belt tossing it up into the mouth of the creature hoping to occupy it, then begins pushing everyone down the passage telling them all to run…